To Speak


from Denise Levertov’s The Sorrow Dance, New Directions, 1967

To speak of sorrow

works upon it,

moves it from its

crouched place barring

the way to and from the soul’s hall —

out in the light it

shows clear, whether

shrunken or known as

a giant wrath —


at least, where before

its great shadow joined

the walls and roof and seemed

to uphold the hall like a beam.

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